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Biggest Waves in Tenerife

Many thanks to José V Glez / and Nyko Denard

Perhaps many of you have surfed in Tenerife before, but where did you go? El Socorro, Los Patos, El Bollullo, El Ancón, Benijos, Taganana, Almáciga, Martiánez, El Castillo, La Tejita, La Machacona, Las Américas, Alcalá … Yes, all these beaches have good waves but were they really huge? The type of waves we are about to describe only come once every 3 years approximately. So where are they? How can we know when and where to go? Keep reading and you’ll find out.

As said before big waves in Tenerife (more than 20 feet = 6 meters) only appear certain times of the year and sometimes they don’t appear at all until the next season. Since I was a kid in Tenerife, every time big waves came to the Island I heard the following expression: “Es la Marea del Pino” which literally means “It’s the Pine Tree Tide” but what it really refers to is the name of a Virgin called Virgen del Pino, patron-saint of Teror in Gran Canaria (the neighbour island), on the 8th of September. Thus, the expression Marea del Pino reallly means The Tides that come in September coinciding with the Virgin del Pino. The most famous tides in the Canary Islands then, adopted a virgin name, but this is only a period in the year in which huge tides visit the north side of the Island and I’m afraid to say that sometimes it’s not enough to produce the waves that we are about to see on the following videos … and we’ll speak about requirements and conditions later.

VIDEO 1, COURTESY OF Sergio del Pino: On this video we see the rescue team leaded by Nyko Denard and all the brave local surfers hit the waves of EL BRAVO, in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife. (On a red wetsuit during the 00:10 to 00:13 seconds of the video, Nyko Denard is currently the only professional Rescue water craft operator and member of the K38 Rescue International association in the Canary Islands and Europe. If you want to catch these waves in Tenerife, you better call him!). Go to second 00:31 onwards to see the waves we are talking about.

VIDEO 2, COURTESY OF Rayco Cano: This beautiful video shows the wonders of the island of Tenerife and focuses on big waves in EL CAMPANARIO, between Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo, in Tenerife. If you want to see the waves go to minute 06:03, get some good sound speakers and hold your breath.

VIDEO 3, COURTESY OF Macaronesia Sport: This third video shows some good waves in the area of Punta del Hidalgo as well, as I think (by the name of the video) that they are featuring Rayco Cano’s movie called San Borondón. This name is the name of a ghost island in the Canary Island’s culture.  If you want to see only the waves, go to second 00:57 onwards.

So what needs to happen for these Big Tides and Swells to arrive to Tenerife? According to Antonio Martínez Marrero, an Oceanic Wave teacher at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University (Ondas Oceánicas), TWO THINGS MUST COINCIDE to activate big waves: High Tides (Pleamar) and Big Swells (Gran Oleaje). You can check the whole article in Spanish here.

And where is the final list of the Bigest Waves in Tenerife? Here it goes (They aren’t ordered by any criteria, they are the only spots that produce giant waves in the island):

  1. El Campanario: A brutal left that appears between Bajamar-Punta del Hidalgo, Tenerife. You can watch it on the second and third video.
  2. El Bravo: Left and right at Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife. The right is quite more brutal and short in distance. Watch it on the first video.
  3. El Bajío: San Juan de la Rambla, Tenerife. A powerful left of which I can’t find any proper videos.
  4. El Rosario: Another powerful left in San Juan de la Rambla, Tenerife.
  5. El Terrero: Sometimes it’s only Tow-In surfing (you need assistance ) and it’s next to El Socorro, in los Realejos, Tenerife.
  6. El Guindaste: Another right next to the famous El Socorro. As you go down to El Socorro you will see a turn right down a banana road that takes you into an urbanisation called El Guindaste, park your car there and follow the path to the sea. If there are big waves you’ll see them alright.
  7. Anaga’s Coast: The capital of the island is called Santa Cruz de Tenerife and if you get a map you’ll see that it is flanked by a chain of mountains called Anaga. Well, on the north side of the mounts of Anaga you’ll find huge waves but you can only access them by boat or a stroll of more than an hour. You need to go to the area between Los Dos Hermanos and los Roques de Anaga. 

Remember, you need to be a little bit crazy to surf these waves in Tenerife, perhaps you should first learn to surf with us ? Hope you enjoyed this information.

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